Autumn is here! Usually at this time of year many of us are struggling to leave summer behind. All of us at Oliveology found that the best way to change seasons is to make foods that will make us excited about what’s ahead.

This week we are using the last grapes that we find at the market and some lovely pears that are now beginning to come. If you prefer you can use just grapes or just pears. Or create your own flavour combinations!

But we are not making a sweet tart. We are pairing sweet fruit with our organic feta cheese. And some Greek yogurt! Remember our leftovers tart from a few months back? Or our colourful squash tart from last year?  This lays somewhere in between!

We’ve also added some walnuts. Some fragrant thyme honey and our 21 walnut oil drizzled on top takes this tart into a whole other level. It is perfect with a green salad as a main, or you can cut it into small pieces and serve it at a buffet.

Feeds 4 as main

1 sheet puff pastry (approx. 300g)
150g yogurt
100g feta cheese, grated
2 small pears
150g grapes
25g walnuts
a few springs of fresh thyme
wild thyme honey (to serve)
21 walnut oil (to serve)

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Roll out your puff pastry and place it on a baking sheet. You can use greaseproof paper, or make sure to oil the baking sheet so that your tart doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Using a fork, pierce the puff pastry across all of its surface. Put the puff pastry in the oven and bake for 5 min, until light golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Leave the oven on.

In the meantime, finely slice your pears, removing any seeds. Slice each grape in half. Chop your walnuts. Pick the leaves from the thyme and discard the stalks.

Spread your yogurt on top of the puff pastry, so that it covers its entire surface. Sprinkle the grated feta cheese. Make sure it goes everywhere. Place your pears and grapes on top. Sprinkle the walnuts and dried thyme.

Place the tart back in the oven and bake for 20-25min or until the cheese has melted and the fruit is soft. Your puff pastry should be dark gold. Remove from the oven. You can serve warm, but it’s equally good at room temperature.

Before serving drizzle some thyme honey and the walnut oil.


This week we’ve got a special olive oil in store! It is our Lemongrass and Tarragon Olive oil.

This special oil is made from semi ripe olives crushed with fresh lemongrass and tarragon. We use 1200g of semi-ripe olives to produce 100ml of this cold extracted oil. It has a very fresh flavour and intense aromas. And pairs perfectly with fish and green vegetables. Think of some grilled whole sea bass. Or some steamed cod. Freshly cut crunchy vegetables. This olive oil.

But we will not prepare fish this week. How are we going to use it? We are making a very summery salad. With zucchini, corn and feta cheese. The combination of flavours is familiar, but this flavoured olive oil takes it to a whole other level. We used corn on the cob because it’s in season. Please do, it’s easy to handle and tastes so much better than the frozen or tinned one!

This recipe serves 2 as main or 4 as a starter (with leftovers)

500g zucchini
2 pieces of corn on the cob
5-6 zuchinni blossoms (optional)
100g feta cheese, crumbled
6tbsp lemongrass and tarragon oil (plus more to serve)
3 tbsp lemon juice (plus more to serve)
½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
salt

Place the corn in a large pot of salted water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to medium and cook until the kernels are tender, around 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, remove the kernels. To do so, place your corn vertically against your chopping board. Running the knife parallel to the corn, remove all kernels. They should fall on your board. Collect and place in a large bowl.

Cut your zucchini in thin rounds. Blanch for 5 minutes –or until tender- in a large pot with boiling salted water. You can use the water from the corn. Drain and place in a large bowl with ice water to cool it down. Drain again. You can skip this step and just use raw zucchini. Place your zucchini in the bowl with the corn.

Add the feta cheese, parsley and zucchini blossoms (if using). Season with salt, flavoured oil and lemon juice. Gently toss everything together. Serve with more lemon juice and flavoured oil.

 


We really love more substantial salads. Salads that have crunchy things, some grains, loads of vegetables. The bulgur-asparagus is one of our favourites. But we wouldn’t say no to a pasta salad either. You see, when the weather is hot these dishes make for the perfect dinner.

For this week’s recipe our inspiration came from our wine tasting event at the end of May. Over the course of a few hours we tasted many fascinating wines and grape varieties from the island of Santorini (including a life changing mavrotragano). But let’s circle back to food. You see, we had some cucumbers left from the wine tasting. I like cucumbers, they are very refreshing and crunchy, a very good combination of characteristics for a vegetable if you ask me.

So this week we have for you a non-grain/grain bowl. For this dish we have swapped the grains for dakos barley croutons. Trust me, these little croutons make you feel full, body and soul. Dakos rusks are delicious. If you haven’t tried our traditional dakos salad, now is the time to do so!

For this week’s recipe we also used our mature 6-month feta cheese, made from sheep’s and goats’ milk and matured in wooden barrels. And yes, this feta cheese was also part of our wine tasting!

Creamy avocado and a light olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing complete this dish. So come by the market and get everything you need for a spring salad less ordinary. Did we say it is also super easy to make?

For 2 people you will need:
1 cup dakos barley croutons
1 medium cucumber, cut in sticks
70g feta cheese
1 large avocado
5tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt

In a large bowl place the dakos croutons and cucumber. Cut the feta cheese in cubes or crumble. Slice the avocado. Add feta and avocado to your bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar. Toss well so that all ingredients are mixed together and coated in olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt.


This week we’ve got something special for you! A sneak peak into our March Cooking workshop! For this one, Marianna teamed up with lovely Despoina Siahuli, for a 3-hour Greek feast! Despoina shared her skills and Oliveology Cooks learned to make delicious Greek dishes. Marianna talked about our favourite Oliveology ingredients and their stories. Everyone gathered together and shared food and wine in the end.

In case you missed it, there will be more!
But to give you an idea, this week we have prepared for you one of Despoina’s recipes from the March workshop! Despoina put together a beautiful combination of flavours: dakos rusks, grape molasses, feta cheese, hazelnuts. All of these coming together with seasonal greens!

We’ve adapted her recipe, steamed our greens and used more dakos and feta, but the core flavour palet is the same. And it’s delicious!

So make the recipe and sign up for the next two cooking classes with Despoina and Marianna! We look forward to having you there cook with us.

Serves 4 as a side or two as main

Salad
300g of spring greens
50g roasted hazelnuts
100g dakos croutons
100g feta cheese

Dressing
¼ clove of garlic, minced into a paste with salt
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp grape molasses
4 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper

In a large pot with salted, boiling water blanch your greens for 3-4 minutes. Remove and place in a bowl with iced cold water. Let them cool.

To make your dressing, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, grape molasses. Slowly add the olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper (but remember, feta will add a layer of saltiness too).

Crush your hazelnuts and crumble the feta cheese.

In a large bowl toss together greens, hazelnuts, dakos croutons, feta cheese and dressing.

I liked this salad more the next day, the flavours all blend together and dakos is soft. Try it both ways and let us know which you prefer!

 

 


Let’s discover more about fabulous feta and bring some wine to the party!

How much do you like feta? If that’s the case for Greeks, we seem to like it quite a lot, consuming about 10 kilos of it annually. Most Greeks can’t live without it, enjoying this cheese in various forms and textures. Most of us have a friend who is having some with every single meal, right?

This post is an attempt to uncover feta’s diverse character. Sure, its creamy, crumbly, grainy texture and its full-flavoured, salty, tangy flavour are glorious -nothing much one can say about it. But 2018 is a year of discovery. So let’s discover together how feta works as part of a dip, in a pie or whipped up as a mousse.

Allow us inspire you to eat more feta and pair these recipe ideas with delicious Greek wine as well. Let’s not forget, the most recognised Greek product, is a quite a wine-friendly cheese. So today we will look into three feta recipe ideas and how each pairs with a different variety of Greek white grapes: Assyrtiko, Malagouzia and Vilana-also explaining their flavour profiles.

-Turokafteri (spicy feta dip) with Assyrtiko 

The main ingredient for turokafteri –apart from feta, of course- is roasted Florina peppers. For this dip you will also need: extra virgin olive oil, chilli flakes, yoghurt, white vinegar and paprika. Add the feta and roasted peppers to a food processor, add the remaining ingredients to taste until you create a smooth dip.

The famous Assyrtiko (usually from Santorini) balances this spicy dip with its tangy acidity. Maybe the most popular Greek white dry wine, Assyrtiko is lemony and mineral. Although cultivated successfully in the mainland as well as in other parts of the world, the Santorini Assyrtiko is always a point of reference, a fascinating case of vine that was never affected by phylloxera. But let this be the subject of another blogpost.

-Turopitakia (cheesepies) with Malagouzia 

Think of small pastries with kourou dough and a melty feta filling. You can also use phyllo pastry if you don’t have much time. To make your filling, combine feta cheese with eggs -and you can add another cheese (like muzithra or graviera) in there too.

The pies are looking for something aromatic so we could not recall of a wine more appropriate than Malagouzia. Think of a white grape variety producing pale yellow wines with white flowers, herbs, citrus fruits and mature peaches -all these aromas pair perfectly with these little pies.

-Feta cheesecake with Vilana 

Not any cheesecake would do; but a cheesecake with a galomizithra and feta mousse, with a base made of rusks and some sautéed apricot would do the trick. Rusks are added to a food processor and whisked until really smooth. You can add a bit of honey and melted butter until the mixture solid and refrigerate it. In case you don’t have apricots, another similar summery fruit would be great as well.

Vilana grape, described by the famous Jancis Robinson as “relatively delicate speciality of Crete” produces fresh whites with soft acidity. Its citrusy, lemon tree flower and green apple notes; create the perfect balance for this not-so-sweet dessert.

Did you enjoy the recipes? Would you like more detailed descriptions? Please let us know.

What’s your favourite way of enjoying feta? How do you pair it with wine? We would love to know!

By Lida


Have you noticed how colourful everything seems to be in October? Have a look at people’s outfits around you. Come to the market and see how fruits and vegetables turn autumn into a feast of colours. Maybe we are all competing with the seductive colours of the leaves, as they change to various shades of yellow, brown and purple. Go for a walk around the park, look around you for a few minutes and notice the green grass and the myriads of colours of the leaves. Yes, autumn is indeed full of enchanting colours.

And of course, it’s the time of the year for one of our favourite vegetables: butternut squash. With its bright orange colour and warm, comforting taste, it is the ideal ingredient for an autumn dinner.

Last year we made a comforting pumpkin soup. This year we are feeling a bit more adventurous. Both with flavours and colours for that matter. Think of bright orange butternut squash, red chillies, white feta cheese, dark golden chestnut honey and bright green sage. Can you think of anything better? I think the colours of this tart can proudly compete with the autumn leaves, wouldn’t you say?

This recipe is adapted from epicurious and serves 5:

1 sheet of puff pastry (approx. 20x25cm)
400g butternut squash
a few sage leaves
1 medium red chilli
2 tbsp olive oil + 2 tbsp for frying the sage leaves
30g-50g feta cheese
1 tbsp chestnut honey
salt
pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay your puff pastry on top.

Using a sharp knife cut off a few centimetres from the bottom and from the stem end of the squash. Then make one long cut, down the middle from the top to bottom. Scrape out the seeds (you can save them and toast them separately if you want). Slice the butternut squash vertically as fine as you can, so that you have beautiful thin half moons.

Arrange the squash on your puff pastry, gently pressing it down. Overlap the slices, as they will shrink a bit while cooking. Leave a centimetre border. Brush both pastry border and squash slices with the 2tbsp of olive oil. Finely chop half of the chilli and scatter on top of the squash. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30min or until puff pastry is golden and squash is soft and tender.

While your tart is in the oven, slice the rest of your chilli in fine rounds. Using a peeler, create shavings of feta cheese (or crumble it if you can’t be bothered).

In a frying pan heat the remaining 2tbsp of olive oil. Add the sage leaves and fry until crisp, but still bright green. Transfer to a paper towel.

When your tart is ready, remove from the oven. Scatter the remaining chilli, feta cheese and fried sage leaves. Drizzle with chestnut honey. See the colours everywhere?

 


Don’t you just love oven baked foods? There is something really comforting we find, when smells from the oven fill the kitchen. This week we are feeling very…Greek. What do I mean? Well, if you think of Greece usually what comes to mind is tomatoes, feta cheese and oregano.

At Oliveology we always enjoy experimenting with the various feta cheeses we’ve got at our Borough Market shop. There is the organic one, mild and smooth in flavour and hard in texture. It’s perfect to cube in salads or eat as is, drizzled with olive oil and oregano. Then there are the mature ones by Kostarelos, a Greek artisan producer who’s been making feta cheese since the 1930s. Talk about tradition on your plate. Their feta cheese matures in wooden barrels for six or twelve months. Yes, you heard right. This is not your everyday feta cheese. The twelve month one has a sharp deep taste and an all-round flavour with an intense aftertaste. The six-month feta is milder, with a velvery tanginess. But don’t let me get carried away, come by and taste for yourself.

Now, what does one do with such amazing feta cheese? Well, no matter which one you choose-it really is a matter of personal preference-here’s the recipe for you.

This week we’re cooking our bulgur wheat, in the oven, with pieces of tomato, plenty of oregano and pieces of mouth watering melted feta cheese. Can you think of anything more interesting for this autumn? If so, drop us an email or a tweet, we always love your ideas using Oliveology ingredients!

This recipe serves 2 as main, or 4 as a side dish. You’ll need:

200g bulgur wheat
1tbsp salt

8 tbsp olive oil
2 large tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
200g feta cheese
salt, pepper

Preheat your oven at 200C.

Fill a large pot with water and add the salt and bulgur wheat. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let the bulgur wheat simmer until al dente, around 15 minutes. In the meantime, dice your tomatoes and feta cheese.

Once the bulgur is cooked, strain and place in a bowl. Add the tomatoes, feta cheese, oregano and olive oil and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Spread the bulgur mixture on a medium sized tray. Bake in the oven for 30-40min, until feta cheese melts and the dish piping hot.

Eat with a spoon. It’s more comforting that way.

 

by Nafsika


The sun is shining. We are now officially in the beginning of summer. Summer is always better if one is by the sea. But most of us are not. So when one lives in a city, summer foods make it all better. Around the market you can now find watermelons. For us, it is the ultimate summer flavour. We spend the entire summer with this pink, sweet fruit. Eaten as is, straight from the fridge is dreamy. Some say it’s even better at room temperature. But you know, it’s summer, one wants something cold to balance the heat.

The last few years, recipes using watermelon are popping up. Think away from smoothies for a bit. Watermelon’s sweetness and crunch balances perfectly with something creamy and salty. You guessed it. Feta cheese and watermelon can become best friends!

And while in Greece usually watermelons are massive-a few kilos each- here, you can get a lovely small watermelon at the market for the salad we are suggesting.

This salad is quite simple. Went for the classic flavour combinations. Watermelon-feta cheese-mint. However, you can use whatever herbs you prefer. How about fresh coriander? Hm! The measurements for watermelon and feta are balanced, but you can obviously add more cheese if you want. Try it and see.

Here, we used our 18oC olive oil. Its grassy, fruity flavour is the perfect pairing for these ingredients.

And whatever you do, don’t forget the vinegar. It really makes all the difference, brightening up the entire dish. Something like the early summer sun, brightening up our lives. You can of course experiment more, add a bit of chilli for spice, lemon or lime for acidity.

For 2 people
400g of watermelon flesh
150g feta cheese
2 tbs olive oil
dashes of red wine vinegar
a few springs of mint
pepper

Remove the peel from the watermelon. Cut the flesh in cubes. We prefer large bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl. Cut the feta cheese in identical cubes. Fine, they don’t really have to be identical. Add to the watermelon. Pour over olive oil and splashes of the red wine vinegar. Finely chop the mint and sprinkle on top. Add some freshly ground pepper.

This salad makes for a perfect summer lunch. We tried it for breakfast actually. Trust us, it works!


Thanksgiving is the time in November when people from across the pond gather together, give thanks and share food. Today, we do not give thanks for the harvest we’ve had, like people used to do. Nonetheless, it is a good opportunity to reflect on what we are thankful for.

As autumn ends, we are thankful for the comforting food that nourishes us. For the pure ingredients that transform into love. So this week, away from the extravagant thanksgiving dishes, we chose to prepare something simple for you.

A warm, hearty vegetarian lentil salad. It is inspired by this season’s “harvest”, using, what else, beetroot. Our sweet vinegar, fruity and crisp adds sharpness. Our salty, mature feta cheese balances the sweetness of the beetroot. Herbs add freshness and shine.

It is luscious and really easy to make.

Lentil and Beetroot salad with Feta Cheese

Serves two

200g beetroot, stalks and leaves trimmed (save them for soups or salads)
150g lentils
50g feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped plus more for garnish 4g

For the dressing:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sweet vinegar
salt to taste

Place the beetroot in a roasting tray, drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 200°C, covered, for around 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Alternatively, boil with plenty of water, until tender when pierced with a fork. When they are still warm, peel them and cut into cubes.

Place the lentils in a small cooking pot with lots of water and boil until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. 

To make the simple dressing, whisk together the olive oil and sweet vinegar with a pinch of salt and the chopped mint.

Mix together the lentils, beetroot, feta cheese and dressing. Garnish with more mint if you want. Say goodbye to autumn and welcome the winter that’s coming.